Lib Dem Jill Fraser: ‘I cried for three days after losing my council seat’

Jill Fraser. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Jill Fraser. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

As a community activist, Jill Fraser has some pedigree.

The 65-year-old has been at the heart of her community in Queen’s Crescent for three decades, campaigning for residents and serving a host of neighbourhood groups.

Last year, the former Camden mayor lost her seat on Camden Council – having served as a Haverstock councillor since 2003 – as a result of a national backlash against the Liberal Democrats’ coalition with the Conservatives.

“I cried for three days,” said Ms Fraser of her election defeat. “I was really, really hurt, but that is politics.

“It’s really sad what has happened to the Lib Dems – for doing what was absolutely the right thing to do.

“And I think we’ve done wonderful things in government. I truly believe this country needs liberalism.

“There are still lots of liberal people out there and they need someone credible to vote for.”

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Ms Fraser, who lives on the West Kentish Town estate, splits her time working for a local publishing company and serving fish and chips twice-a-week at the local chippie she has worked at for more than 20 years.

“I’ve always said even if I was Prime Minister I would still do a shift in the chip shop,” she said.

“It was the chip shop that got me involved in a lot of things I do now. People used to come in and say, ‘This is terrible’. So I got very involved in changing things locally.”

As part of a new project, Ms Fraser has helped to take 20 people off Jobseeker’s Allowance through a training scheme run from Queen’s Crescent Market.

“This is why I want to bring Westminster down to Camden. It’s all the stuff done locally that changes people’s lives,” she said.

“You need people out there on the ground.”